From witches and black cats to costumes and candy, Halloween is here, and it’s the spookiest time of the year. When the clock strikes tonight’s witching hour and All Hallow’s Eve lays to rest, November will come creeping out from under the bed. Soon, a madness will take hold of shoppers everywhere as they begin their hunt for the best Cyber Monday deals.
Last year, the Monday after Thanksgiving raked in $7.9 billion in online sales, crowning Cyber Monday 2018 as the biggest online shopping day of all-time. As more and more shoppers opt to snag online deals from the comfort of their couches instead of enduring parking lot nightmares and over-crowded stores, Cyber Monday 2019 brings promises of cheer to retailers’ bottom lines.
While the thought of the biggest revenue day of the year sounds holly and jolly, every year, online shoppers scream with horror when their favorite brand’s site goes down. Blood-suckers and flesh-eaters beware, these three Cyber Monday scary stories might just be more frightful than you are:
The Tale of J.Crew’s Broken Online Shopping Cart
If you ask any website manager who works at an online retailer what part of the site links most closely to business revenue, they’ll very likely say the shopping cart. After all, if people can’t successfully place their orders, retailers can’t make a profit.
A broken online shopping cart on the biggest online shopping day of the year is the equivalent of a deadly potion. Unfortunately for J. Crew, they took a poisonous gulp in 2018 — the five-hour downtime cost the company roughly $775,000.
Can’t log in, then the shopping bag purges itself,” said one customer.
For online retailers, website quality and functionality tie directly to business success. After all, every extra second it takes for an online store’s site to load, shopping cart abandonment increases by 7%. That’s enough potential lost revenue to give any online retailer goosebumps.
Cyber Monday prep tip: If your company has to prioritize one key feature of your online store to load test over the next three weeks, choose the shopping cart. Be sure it’s ready to handle increased site traffic and checkout volume for both Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Once Upon a Time, Lululemon’s Site Crashed
From completely see-through leggings to leadership controversies, Lululemon has given athleisure wear customers quite a few reasons to shop elsewhere. Yet, their cult-like following is stronger than ever due to their ogle-worthly product designs and innovative marketing campaigns.
At well over a hundred bucks a pop for a pair of exercise leggings, it’s no wonder that Lululemon fans were eagerly anticipating Black Friday and Cyber Monday last year. When it came time for the big day, and customers found they couldn’t complete their orders, they expressed their displeasure on social media.
The @lululemon Black Friday crashed, and I’m heartbroken,” exclaimed one customer.
From Instagram to Twitter, to email and beyond, consumers expect their favorite brands to communicate every step of the way. Your social channels are critical for relationship management with your customers. Being responsive and helpful can make or break your customer relationships.
Cyber Monday prep tip: Have all hands on deck to support customers if any issues crop up on the big day. Be ready to respond in real-time across your social channels, and help by escalating any website issues to engineering.
It Was a Dark and Stormy Night for Walmart’s Site
Having your site crash can certainly cost online retailers money at any time of the year. But certain times of the year are just more critical than others.
Shoppers aren’t waiting until Cyber Monday to begin online shopping anymore — they’re looking for deals starting before Thanksgiving Day and through the weekend and Monday after. That’s why when Walmart’s online store crashed the day before Thanksgiving, the company lost an estimated $9 million in sales — ouch.
Don’t let your customers (and your company) down by prepping poorly for the days leading up to Cyber Monday. Shoppers are eager and ready to begin their online holiday shopping earlier every year, especially if it means delivery guarantees, exclusive deals, and more inventory options.
Cyber Monday prep tip: Start early. Get ready for increased site traffic and order processing starting even before Thanksgiving Day.
Don’t Let a Cyber Monday Scare Happen to You
The merriest time of the year for online retailers shouldn’t turn into The Nightmare Before Christmas. Over the next three weeks, set your company up for Black Friday and Cyber Monday success to end 2019 with a bang.
Make sure your customers can get their promised deals and that your company’s site is prepared to handle the increased load. Prioritize and test the features of the site that tie most closely to revenue outcomes.
Learn more about how to win big during the holidays with these community building tips.
Steph is the Community Marketing Manager at AdRoll. A relationship-builder, she’s behind the Growth Guerilla Collective (GGC); the community for D2C marketers. Before AdRoll, Steph ran Customer Marketing at a B2B SaaS company in San Francisco. She is passionate about customer-centric marketing.